Two of our fearless researchers here at Cancer Council, John Baker and Steven Bowe, headed to the rally on Tuesday (12/4/11) to stop budget cuts to medical research. They filed this report for us:
It has recently been suggested that the Federal Budget, to be announced in May this year, will include significant cuts to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which is Australia's main funding body for health and medical research. These budget cuts are anticipated to be around $400 million over three years, or a cut of around 19%.
On Tuesday 12th of April, approximately 1,000 health and medical researchers as well as members from the general public gathered outside the State Library to voice their concerns over the anticipated cuts to NHMRC funding, with other rallies occurring in all capital cities. The rally also had guest speakers including the Greens federal member Adam Bandt, university academics, and members of the general public, who expressed their views on the impacts of the funding cuts.
Cancer Council Victoria would not be immune to these funding cuts, as many of our research projects directly rely on NHMRC funding. Without this funding, Cancer Council Victoria research in important areas such as tobacco control, skin cancer prevention, and cervical cancer prevention would not be possible.
As was stated at the rally in Melbourne, Victoria is the leading health and medical research centre in Australia. Our greatest asset is our knowledge and commitment to improving Australia's health. As one slogan used by a guest speaker suggested Victoria, unlike other states, which primarily have a wealth of natural resources, was the knowledge state, not a mining state: ‘Our minds are our mines'. Victoria should be very proud of that fact.
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